Fifth Third Bank Review – Full Service Banking & More

Fifth Third Bank offers a full-service banking experience, including checking, savings, credit cards, loans, business accounts, & more.
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Fifth Third Bank’s motto – We Live Here Too — reflects its continued commitment to community involvement.

Declaring itself the first bank in the nation to establish a charitable foundation, Fifth Third Bank continues to pour millions of dollars into funding initiatives in the communities it serves.

And with a century’s worth of banking under its belt, Fifth Third Bank has established itself as a credible national bank with competitive rates among savings accounts.

Let’s take a look at Fifth Third’s features (good and bad) and see how it stacks up.

Fifth Third Bank Review

Product Name: Fifth Third Bank
Product Description: Fifth Third Bank offers a wide range of quality products and services. More than just your neighborhood bank, it offers customers a full-service experience, including banking, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and small business services. Gaining access to your money is easy, with an ATM network exceeding 50,000 cash points. The Fifth Third Bank mobile apps make banking on the go easy, with online bill pay, mobile deposit, and peer to peer payments via Zelle®. The downsides: Fifth Third is a regional bank, which may be inconvenient if you live outside its market, and you can find higher interest rates with many online savings accounts.
Products & Services
Interest Rates
Fees & Charges
Website / App
Customer Service

Summary

3.7

When it comes to Products & Services, Fifth Third has all the standard offerings, including a menu of checking and savings accounts, as well as CDs. Unfortunately, lackluster Interest Rates are probably the biggest drawback to a Fifth Third Bank account. You can find much higher rates with another online option. Plus, Fifth Third accounts come with Fees & Charges that you’ll have to get waived unless you don’t mind losing a chunk of your money each month. The Website/App is easy to use, but Customer Service isn’t available at night or on Sundays. However, if you live near a Fifth Third Bank branch, you can enjoy the convenience of popping in for face-to-face help.

Fifth Third Bank Features

Fifth Third BankFeatures
Banking Account TypesChecking, Savings, Money Markets, CDs
Other Account TypesLoans, Mortgages, Credit Cards
Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account$0. Must fund account within 45 days
Number of Branches1,400+
ATM Network SizeAllpoint, Presto!, 7-Eleven
50,000+
ATM ReimbursementsAvailable for Some Accounts
Remote DepositYes
App AvailabilityiOS, Android, Mobile Optimized Website
Bill PayYes
Person to Person Money TransfersYes
Money TransfersWire Transfers
Customer Service TypesPhone, Email, Appointment
Customer Service HoursMonday-Friday, 7am-8pm; Saturday, 8:30am-5pm
Member FDICFDIC Certificate #6672
Routing Number / ABA Number#042100272
Current Promotions$250 Starting Bonus
See More Bank Promotions

Additional Features

  • Free Access to More Than 50,000 ATMs. Thanks to Fifth Third Bank’s partnership with Allpoint and 7-Eleven and Publix’s Presto! network, you’ll have plenty of fee-free ATM access.
  • FDIC Insurance. Each Fifth Third Bank account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
  • Empower U. Fifth Third Bank offers personal finance classes for adults. Topics include reducing debt, budgeting, identity protection, saving for college and retirement, and improving your credit score.
  • Investing. If you live in one of the 10 states across the Midwest and Southeast where Fifth Third operates brick-and-mortar branches, you can access an investment advisor to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and annuities.
  • Life360. Fifth Third Bank offers this online financial planning platform to customers looking for a holistic view of their finances and investments.
  • Prewards. When you use a debit card associated with a Fifth Third Bank account at a participating merchant, you can earn cash back.

What Is Fifth Third Bank?

With roots dating back to 1858, the Fifth Third Union Trust came to be in 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio, through merging Fifth-Third National and the Union Trust Company.

The Ohioan bank boasts a longstanding commitment to continued expansion with a dedication to community that can be tracked through the last two centuries.

After outlasting the Great Depression and later leading the War Bond initiative in World War II, Fifth Third Bank focused its efforts on growing its branches and innovating its services, opening 27 branches by the 1950s.

In the ’70s, it launched the first shared ATM in the nation, along with an automated teller.

Over the last 50 years, Fifth Third Bank has steadily expanded from Ohio into the region and beyond, now operating in the following states:

  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

Beyond basic banking, Fifth Third has now launched a Lives Improved Through Financial Empowerment® (LIFE) suite with programs to help you manage your finances.

How to Get Started with Fifth Third Bank

Opening an account with Fifth Third Bank online is easy and should take less than 10 minutes. You must find the product page for the type of account you want to open and click “Apply Now.” You’ll need to supply personal information, including your Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license or state-issued ID, and a debit card to fund your new account.

Alternatively, if you live near a Fifth Third Bank branch, you can bring your information in and open an account in person.

Funding Your Fifth Third Bank Account. You can deposit money into your Fifth Third Bank account via online transfer, mobile deposit on your phone, or by mailing a paper check.

Fifth Third Bank Account Options

Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers several checking account options. However, all accounts incur service charges. Although there are ways to have these charges waived or reduced, many online banks have eliminated fees.

The checking accounts also carry costly overdraft penalties. In general, if you overdraw, you’ll get slapped with a $37 penalty.

And if you think the bank’s overdraft protection service will keep you safe, think again.

Even if you aren’t penalized on the spot, you’ll be charged an additional fee on your credit card, line of credit, or transfer with every overdraft.

On the positive side, there are no minimum balances required for Fifth Third Bank checking accounts. However, note that accounts must be funded within 45 days of opening.

Below we’ve provided the key features for each type of account and ways to bypass their monthly service fees.

Essential Checking Account

As its name implies, this option gives you all the essentials of a checking account. You’ll receive a contactless Mastercard debit card, which you can use for purchases and to withdraw and deposit cash at more than 50,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.

You’ll also be able to earn with the Prewards program, which rewards you with cash back for using your debit card at participating merchants.

However, this account comes with an $11 monthly service fee, unless you:

  • Average a $1,500 monthly balance across your Fifth Third accounts
  • Spend $500+ a month on a Fifth Third credit card
  • Have an outstanding Fifth Third personal mortgage, auto loan, or line of credit
  • Are a current or former U.S. military member with monthly direct deposits totaling $500 or more
  • Are a student with a valid student ID, or
  • Have a Fifth Third Business Premium or Business Elite Checking account

Enhanced Checking Account

The next level up is the Fifth Third Enhanced Checking account. The big benefit of holding this account is the ability to receive better interest rates on CDs and loans.

There’s a $20 per month service fee associated with this account unless you:

  • Have a combined minimum balance of $20,000 across all Fifth Third accounts at least once a month or
  • Make a monthly direct deposit of at least $5,000

Preferred Checking Account

This is Fifth Third Bank’s interest-paying checking account. How much you can earn depends on your location. However, it’s likely the interest rate won’t be as favorable as what you can find with an online-only bank such as Ally Bank.

You’ll have to pay a $25 monthly service fee for this account unless you have a combined balance across Fifth Third accounts of $100,000 at some point during the month.

Alternative Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers a few specialized accounts as well:

  • Student Banking. This account gives students age 13 and up the features of an Essential Checking account, but without the monthly service charge.
  • Military Checking. This account gives members access to special VA Home Loan rates.
  • Express Banking. This account doesn’t include check writing or deposits, but it does allow for check cashing and direct deposits.
  • ABLE Checking. This account allows individuals with disabilities and their families to save for qualified expenses without losing federal benefits. There are also tax advantages associated with this account. However, check to make sure you qualify before applying

Savings Accounts

Fifth Third offers interest-paying savings accounts. However, these accounts do not pay nearly as much as what you’ll find from an online high-yield savings account.

These accounts also carry a monthly $5 service fee. However, this fee can be waived if you:

  • Own a Fifth Third checking account
  • Average at least $500 a month
  • Are 18 or younger
  • Are a Fifth Third Military Account holder

Goal Setter Savings

This savings account features an online goal setting and tracking program. You’ll earn a one-time interest bonus when you reach your goal.

However, note that you can access your funds only at a branch location or over the phone. While that’s great for keeping your money safe in an account, if you think you’ll need to access your savings often, you should look for another option.

Relationship Savings

This savings account is designed to be paired with a Fifth Third checking account. It gives you a special interest rate when you link an eligible account. You can also set up automatic checking-to-savings transfers and receive one statement for both types of accounts.

Money Market

Fifth Third also offers a money market account. This account offers Tiered interest. The more you save, the higher the return. You also earn a relationship interest rate by linking your money market account to an eligible Fifth Third checking account.

CDs

CDs are a fantastic way to invest in the future, and Fifth Third offers several options for doing so.

Fifth Third has four CD types: a 529 CD, a short-term Standard CD, a long-term Standard CD, and a Promotional CD.

The 529 CD stands out. Fifth Third’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan allows students to save for college, offering a guaranteed CD return rate and tax-free earnings.

With all Fifth Third CDs, the interest you earn can be credited to the CD, or your Fifth Third checking or savings account. You can also use a CD as collateral on your Fifth Third Loan.

After a week of being open, you can access your funds before the CD reaches maturity. Fifth Third will return your original deposit.

The drawback to Fifth Third CDs? Interest rates are low, especially on short-term and standard CDs.

If you have the $5,000 minimum required for a Promotional CD, then your interest rates will be higher. But even those rates are a percentage point or more lower than what you’ll find with some competitors.

There are far more competitive rates on the market to consider, especially if you’re considering a standard CD or one with a short term.

The 529 CD is a viable option for future-forward students, but if you fall into the other categories of investor, you might want to shop around for better CD rates.

Fifth Third Bank Business Accounts

Fifth Third Bank also offers business accounts for small, medium, and large businesses, including commercial banking and lending.

Products and services offered include business checking, business savings, business credit cards, business loans, Cash Management Services, and administration of tax-advantaged health benefit accounts, including Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements.

You will need to have your small business in good standing before opening for a business bank account. Be sure to bring your articles of incorporation or other business formation paperwork, your EIN, and any other supporting paperwork.

Fifth Third Bank Customer Service

Fifth Third Bank has generous customer service hours, with phones staffed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

However, what if you need assistance after hours or on a Sunday?

If you’re concerned about needing to speak to an agent any hour, any day, you might want to check out another bank such as Ally, Discover, or Chase, all of which offer 24/7 phone support.

Fifth Third Bank Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No Minimum Needed to Open a Checking Account. You can open a checking account without having any funds. However, note that you will need to make a deposit of any amount within 45 days of opening.
  • Relationship Interest Rates. Fifth Third Bank rewards customers who have more than one type of account.
  • Large ATM Network Nationwide. You can access more than 50,000 ATMs fee-free.

Cons

  • Lackluster Interest Rates. You’ll find much better interest rates on savings and even checking products elsewhere.
  • Monthly Fees. Unless you can meet one of the fee-waiving requirements, you’ll have to pay $5 to $25 per month for the privilege of owning an account.
  • Limited Branch Access. Branches are available in only 10 states.

Conclusion

In a market bursting with banks offering similar services, it can be challenging to choose the right one.

Fifth Third Bank has grown alongside monumental moments in the nation’s history, never wavering from its community engagement and commitment to advancement.

Whether you’re in the bank’s birthplace, Cincinnati, or another city playing home to one of Fifth Third’s other 1,300 branches, you might want to take a second look at Fifth Third for your banking needs.

If you’re looking for a checking home, a place to put your savings, a way to build your credit, or a loan to pursue your dreams, Fifth Third could be a worthwhile choice.

However, the devil is in the details. High fees, along with low interest on CDs, can be detrimental. Whether or not those factors will negatively affect you depends on how much money you’re willing and able to deposit. With checking and savings accounts, you need at least $1,500 to avoid monthly fees.

If you know you won’t meet that minimum, you might want to consider an alternative checking option.

Likewise, if you can’t put $5,000 into a CD, you may want to look elsewhere for more competitive interest rates and higher yields.

For more information on Fifth Third Bank’s services, rates, and promotions, visit the Fifth Third website.


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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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